Atmore police shoot man after chase
Published 3:42 pm Wednesday, May 27, 2009
By By MaryClaire Foster
Special to the Standard
Three Atmore Police officers have been placed on administrative leave after suspect in a car chase died of a gunshot wound caused by one of the officers, Atmore Public Safety Director Glenn Carlee said.
Danny Williams, the driver of a car that police say eluded them during an early Sunday morning chase that began in Atmore and ended in Walnut Hill, Fla., died Monday, Carlee said.
According to police, officers said Williams drove toward one of the officers while the officer was on foot at one point during the chase.
Carlee said officers attempted to stop the white Nissan Altima Williams was driving under suspicion that it was involved in a shooting.
According to a press release from the Atmore Police Department, officers began pursuit of the vehicle in the area of Ashley Street and Carver Avenue, near the location of the shots fired call, after seeing it travel at high speeds and run a stop sign.
Officers then attempted to pull over the vehicle to no avail and at 1:37 a.m. reported they were in pursuit following the vehicle onto Alabama 97 south into Florida, staying back while awaiting the arrival of Florida officers, Carlee said.
Williams turned east on Highway 164 and then north towards Gobbler Road, then got back on Alabama 97 heading south and crossing into the northbound lane in a reported apparent attempt to hit the Atmore police unit head on, Carlee said.
This caused the police vehicle to leave the roadway and head into a field where it got stuck, Carlee said.
Williams then made a U-turn and backed into a wheat field south of this location, where his vehicle also became stuck, Carlee said.
According to a police press release, two other Atmore officers also in pursuit of the vehicle thought the vehicle had ended the pursuit and exited their vehicles. they approached Williams and his passenger, an adult male, with weapons drawn.
Both men were ordered to raise their hands, and the passenger immediately complied. The officers at the scene said the passenger pleaded with Williams to follow the officers’ orders.
The release states that when the officers repeated their orders, Williams turned the vehicle towards the lead officer and drove towards him, causing the lead officer to fall back to avoid being hit.
Williams then turned the vehicle towards the second officer who fired shots, the release states. The lead officer also fired shots towards the back of the vehicle after getting back on his feet.
Williams then got back on Alabama 97 and traveled north towards where the other patrol unit was stuck. Williams, too, left the roadway and became stuck in the same field.
At 1:45 a.m., officers requested medical assistance at the scene. Williams, who suffered a gunshot wound to the head, was transported by Atmore Ambulance to Atmore Community Hospital and later to University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile.
Officials did not say whether Williams was armed.
Williams’ passenger was interviewed and released without charges.
The Escambia County (Florida) Sheriff’s Department, the Florida Highway Patrol and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were called to conduct the investigation.
Carlee said the three officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation. He said the names of the officers would not be released.